Making of Kumu, Art Museum of Estonia

Victor Fretyan 2010-06-01 09:56 tutorial  > 3ds MAX  > rendering

First of all thank you for reading this! Since this particular project is consisted of 10 completely different scenes I chose to explain the crucial parts instead of walking you through with only one scene.

I had the chance to visit this building personally 2 years ago. As a matter of fact I found it out of pure luck just by wandering in the forest in Tallinn. It was 2 years ago as I said and I knew it immediately that I will do my 3d version of this at some point. And when it came I started with gathering all the information I could find on the internet. I downloaded literally all the photos I could get my hands on.


A big help was that I found a digital model of the building on the net. And even though I eventually had to remodel each and every element I still owe Ankit Surti and Samuel Gwynn a huge thank. Their model was mandatory! I didn't want to model the environment since there's a vast amount of renders out there on the subject and I already had my share of that in the Normafa House project. In fact I wanted to avoid that as much as I could. All the trees in the background and foreground are 2d elements put there in Photoshop. There is an article coming out in 3d Artist magazine issue 17 about the modelling of the scene. If you are interested in this part you can read it there.


The snow

The snow and the terrain is actually rendered. It is a simple plane nothing special. As a matter of fact it is more than just one plane. It's at least 4 or 5 planes I put down so from the camera it looks like one whole thing but it's actually more small parts. You couldn't just fly up and take a look around cause then you would notice that it's falling apart and only comes together from that particular view. I formed the planes to follow the slopes using primitive tools such as FFD box. I used edit mesh smooth selection to lift the terrain a bit next to walls like the snow is kinda climbing up there a bit. I always apply a noise modifier too and a turbosmooth or at least a tesselate modifier to make the ground uneven but smooth. The tracks and such marks in the snow was done by a simple displacement modifier. I took a snapshot from a top view and then drew a map in Photoshop from the bitmaps I found on the net. Pretty simple again and worked just fine! It has a translucent hard wax type refractive material with a bluish back color.


The grass

The grass was partially modelled and partially done by displacement. Obviously only used model when it was close to the camera (only in the fall render). It was done by that old trick: I modelled a few single grass straws and scattered them on a patch then converted them into a vray proxy and about done! I did two kinda patches. One with a shorter grass and one with longer. The longer was used at the bottom of the wall in the foreground. For the rest I used the same method Red Vertex taught. There are two terrains. The first has a translucent material and a displacement modifier and the other has the same material except with no refraction at all and no displacement. For the diffuse I used a bitmap with a meadow with flowers to make the landscape more colorful.


The materials

There are 2 particular materials that caused me a lot of trouble. One is the greenish metal housing on the walls the other is the stone wall in the other side of the interior. Biggest problem for them both were the fact that they appear on such huge surfaces the bitmaps had to be really large to avoid making them look too repetative. The maps were put together by me in Photoshop. Their size were 10 000 x 10 000. I only showing a 100 percent zoom in detail of the maps. I also made other bitmaps for other details.



I used a vray dome light for the diffuse light in the exterior scenes as well as for the interiors. I couldn't have done it using vray planes in the windows as usual because this particular round interior has different openings from a lot of directions. For the texture slot I used an HDRI and sometimes only a bitmap. If there were any sunlight in the sun that was provided by a vray sun.



Nothing much to mention here. I'll just show my settings. If there's anything you don't see here it most probably means I left it on the default setting. The light sources samles are mostly on 32. Somewhere I took back from that and some times I raised it to 50. The samples of reflection/refraction is the same. The irradiance map Hsph subdivs had to be high at the night shots and could be recreased with a lot at the daylight shots. As always I used 1.0 gamma. I'm not a fan of LWF. I read about it and I know how much better it is but I just don't see that. In fact I don't see no differece in the end result at all...


Post process

I try to show you these with images rather than describing with words. I know that most of you who read this are interested in the scene with all the snow. So I have to appologize that the final PSD file was damaged I could not open it. Therefor the one I'm presenting here shows an earlier stage of the process althou the analogy is literally the same.

Author: Victor Fretyan
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VaTRiX12:43:33  |  01-06-2010
Amazing tutorial!!!! Azt hiszem rendesen tanulmányozni fogom, amint lesz rá időm :)
crearte18:41:07  |  01-06-2010
Beautiful work, thanks for sharing
dohkito23:50:05  |  01-06-2010
Great as always Viktor ur work is my favourite by far, ur approach to architecture is quite unique out there.
jhoptract01:45:11  |  02-06-2010
Amazing! Thanks Viktor. But how exactly to you "blend" your cool and warm layers together?! just by changing layer to livid layer or something, or do you paint it in with clipping masks? would love to know how you do that. Cheers
HppyRbt05:27:11  |  02-06-2010
It is awesome!!1 )) Thanks for sharing Viktor. =)
aly-pro06:57:45  |  02-06-2010
Thank you very much mate ! congrats once again .
mutkakokudka09:09:32  |  02-06-2010
Great!! Thanks for sharing yor workflow again!
Radic09:20:28  |  02-06-2010
dear jhoptract: simply put them on top of each other and change the oppacity to the perfect ammount. and if at some places youd want the image to be warmer (for example around lights) you erase the cold layer a bit. jhoptract 2010.06.02 report Amazing! Thanks Viktor. But how exactly to you "blend" your cool and warm layers together?! just by changing layer to livid layer or something, or do you paint it in with clipping masks? would love to know how you do that. Cheers
drainlife10:48:16  |  02-06-2010
In your post process, you creat cold and warm tones... But how did you mix them??? Thanks you, Great tutorial by the way :D
JOEYR10:49:09  |  02-06-2010
Thank you for this great tutorial Radic !
drainlife10:50:54  |  02-06-2010
You already answer my question and i can't remove my comment... Sorry :(
dhika12:40:51  |  02-06-2010
Thanks Radic for the making of..very2 great work,,Keep Inspiring us :)
netmanto14:45:43  |  02-06-2010
thanks a lot for this great making of and compliment for your work! I only have two doubt: how is made the dirt pass you use in your renders? it's similar to ambient occlusion? and what's the blending mode you use to blend the warmtone layer and the coldtone layer with the original image? thanks a lot again!!
Radic09:59:40  |  04-06-2010
by blending the layers i only meant putting them on top of each other and adjusting the oppacity! they are all on normal blending mode of course!!! near the lights i erase the cold tones a bit. the dirt layer is pretty easy. you just load in the desired dirt bitmap to photoshop and copy paste it as a new layer on top of your render. switch it to overlay layer and strech it to the part where u would like to see it!
thedreamers11:30:41  |  05-06-2010
Many thanks to post this making of Viktor...i think your last work it's simply amazing and i really want to improve my ability to reach that result eheh
baui07:26:45  |  09-06-2010
I just had a couple of minutes to scroll through the pictures now, but man, what an amazing work!
pixela09:32:10  |  09-06-2010
Thanks for sharing a lot of inspiring tips and methods of your workflow. You works are really very nice and reading your tutorial is very inspiring. Best Wishes For You :)
zoppo11:00:35  |  09-06-2010
Beautiful ... just beautiful. Especially the one with the snow. One question though: I don't get what you mean by "For the rest I used the same method Red Vertex taught. There are two terrains. The first has a translucent material and a displacement modifier and the other has the same material except with no refraction at all and no displacement." Could you elaborate a bit, please?!
Drunik13:50:52  |  16-06-2010
Big Thank for tutorial Viktor. Just one question: can you share your settings for Domelight and vray spherelights in the interior. I've tried to use Domelight in the interior for ambient, but I cannot achieve any satisfying result with it.
peprgb18:49:59  |  16-06-2010
Thank you very much for sharing, really amazing work!! One thing for editors: The second material setting image is not showed here..... Regards
H.Z21:42:56  |  29-06-2010
akbar novianto03:36:27  |  30-06-2010
wwooo..amazing work..luarr biasa sekali..takjub aku melihatnya..sebuah karya yg hebat..selamat..congratulation..
asda263707:35:47  |  30-06-2010
Chaz Zeromus22:48:11  |  05-07-2010
This is great! If only you gave us the scene :3
boonteck10:41:55  |  10-08-2010
Great work! Is it possible to send me the scene file or just the model for me to try it?
tiagodmed18:14:24  |  10-08-2010
The scene is fantastic, but I was curious about your settings for the irradiance map. The values of the HSph and Interp. samples in my opinion are too high, you have used these values for any particular reason?
alexcad15:11:13  |  17-08-2010
Very very impressive! even more realistic than on the real pictures in the magazine;)
ricardo_duarte02:11:18  |  18-08-2010
Nice Work...Great explanation about the render passes..Thanks a lot!
PI3c300:06:36  |  31-08-2010
Wow... The whole scene looks awesome, but that VRay GI setting looks very weird. The Irradiance Map part is the thing, that I can't understand... There are 4 important parameters, that are very interesting. The Hsph Subdivision is the number of a sample accuracy. The higher value gives you more accurate result. The Interpolation Sample blur's there semples together. The higher value the more the samples are blurred. Mostly 10-20 is perfectly enough. Higher gives you very blurred GI, so it kills the picture GI accuracy. (Use LOW values: 10-20) For Hsph 100 or 150 is enough... If you use low Hsph, use higher Interp. If you use high Hsph, then use Low Interp. The min and max rate is the GI accuracy (not the samples accuracy) Higher min/max rate are the multiplier of the GI resolution. Use -3 to 0 to get good result for your Indirect Illumination... (-3 is the 1/3rd of the resolution of your main image. 0 is the main image resolution. 1 is twice greater than your image.) But anyway: That's all. I hope I could help you... If you van render much faster, why don't you learn it... =) But anyway no other notices. Beautiful picture...
Boing12:23:49  |  21-09-2010
lovley work, really nice! could someone explain the signifigance of the tonal enhancements though? i mean the warm and cold tones, are these just overlayed in PS? how are they obtained etc?
PolYGonnErr13:51:18  |  07-10-2010
great tut m8 just wana know how to mix between warm and cold tone thx
ardodi11:14:44  |  21-01-2011
Would you open this lesson more? Because I'm just a beginner. I like to model, but with post-processing is bad. I would be very grateful if you shared the experience across all settings, or at least what you can show to a stranger. Sorry for my English :)
rahatsiz08:03:28  |  02-02-2011
thank you very much Victor.elaborate work.thanks sharing works.
CDC198608:35:46  |  15-02-2011
Nice,you are great!
ruilv22404:49:54  |  03-03-2011
jose.suarez.jarquin18:20:47  |  21-03-2011
berolino16:58:46  |  18-04-2011
ok..great work! Is it possible to send me the scene file in italy or just the model for me to try it? thx
mohsen.hatam12:14:29  |  28-06-2011
great... very nice... very good... i like your work an you... is posible send this max file for me????????????????? plz... i need it...
mohsen.hatam12:15:11  |  28-06-2011
my mail is (
saplu11:43:13  |  25-09-2011
nice render ,please send the 3dmax file
Atrium139022:22:57  |  31-10-2011
great... very nice work. i like your work an you. plese send your 3dmax file in my mail
moghanboy09:30:37  |  03-11-2011
hi boy very nice job. could you please send me max file. thanks alot
moghanboy09:31:52  |  03-11-2011 i am waiting every second
neerajubhayakar01:25:47  |  11-11-2011
thats a lot of hard work and has come out really beautiful.. Thanks a ton for sharing ur settings and making with every1.
oo30701274007:55:44  |  22-11-2011
nice render ,please send the 3dmax file
proto14:23:03  |  22-12-2011
I am still looking at your tutorial and learning. Can you send me the model?. Kind regards
huanguantao10:41:34  |  31-12-2011
历害的手法 向您学习 麻烦发送 模型 谢谢
jpzl12904209:58:58  |  03-02-2012
very good!! 牛,请发个3D max 模型
hassan tahoori22:06:28  |  18-02-2012
Awesome man! can i have the 3dmax file like others? ;)
jw520506:18:49  |  17-03-2012
very good!很牛,请发个3D max 模型
smilexy05:30:22  |  05-04-2012
I am still looking at your tutorial and learning. Can you send me the model?.
bscc708:51:14  |  13-04-2012
nice render ,please send the 3dmax file
bscc708:51:16  |  13-04-2012
nice render ,please send the 3dmax file
bscc708:51:18  |  13-04-2012
nice render ,please send the 3dmax file
jarko10:15:45  |  17-04-2012
can you send me a scene thanx)))
xCg03:27:49  |  20-04-2012
Very good tutorial hope to get your MAX model file if you can thank you
xCg03:31:55  |  20-04-2012
daniel shojaee19:24:53  |  27-04-2012
hi victor its amazing ,awesome.can u plz send me your model?
rodenapa11:18:26  |  31-05-2012
increíble tutorial. Por favor, enviar max a
mdrafique12:54:38  |  13-06-2012
very nice
rhiesy07:52:24  |  29-06-2012
nice tutorial~ plz send 3dsmax files~ thanks~~
27513050702:56:28  |  05-07-2012
Oh wow it is too much Can you give me the original file is very grateful to
crystalcg12:23:59  |  29-08-2012
Very fantastic work. Could you please forward your original Max file to me? My email is Thanks a lot.
neno0015:45:23  |  26-09-2012
Very nice tutorial. Thank you very much. Would you please send me a copy of your max file. I'm interested a lot about the lighting and the atmosphere that you could reached. My mail is Thanks a lot again.
billybisket19:02:59  |  18-10-2012
Great Tutorial! really nice night scene! could you please send the 3dsmax files - thanks!
daniar21:06:02  |  15-11-2012
very realistic atmosphere! Be kind, podeiltes file -
dakoo12:28:38  |  14-12-2012
cool .. awesome ..
b_arch_521:37:48  |  26-01-2013
veryyyyyyyyyyyyyy goood its very nice
b_arch_521:38:01  |  26-01-2013
veryyyyyyyyyyyyyy goood its very nice
b_arch_521:41:42  |  26-01-2013
can you send file 3d max for me.? thanks.
sail16:26:34  |  04-02-2013
Great work! Is it possible to send me the scene file or just the model for me to try it?
zdz_silence09:27:04  |  17-03-2013
Very good tutorial! The request for a model material 1637476846@qq. COM, thank you very!
cc12341104:47:48  |  21-04-2013
Very nice model, do not recommend to my model data?
hankl14:50:21  |  11-06-2013
Very nice! Can you send me a copy of file Max (save archive) to Thanks a lot !
mahane12:42:25  |  31-07-2013
can you send file 3d max for me.?
mahane12:42:26  |  31-07-2013
can you send file 3d max for me.?
mgn19919923:40:25  |  09-08-2013
Dragon9310:23:50  |  27-08-2013
Very nice.can you send file 3D max for me?


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